Cash Flow With Joe

Running Ragged

I was talking to one of my best friends, Houston Long, recently about something that had been going on at his office. Not only is Houston a top notch investor, but he’s also a fantastic agent at Maximum One Realty. At his office, they had a new hire that was going full throttle. By that I mean they were showing houses from early in the morning to late into the evening seven days a week.



Houston admired the new hires work ethic but recognized that that pace meant something was looming around the corner – burnout. He took the new hire under his wing and advised them to find a pace that was aggressive but manageable.


As it turns out, this was a lesson I needed to hear again in my own life.


I’ve recently taken up running again. To begin with, my goal was to run five days a week for 10 to 15 minutes depending on what mine and Ashley’s primary workout was for the day. This proved harder than I expected, but in a week’s time, I was able to run the entire time without stopping.


Then something happened: My competitiveness kicked in. You see, I really like to compete. I enjoy competing against others, but I really like competing against myself. So I started pushing myself to run faster, timing myself for how quickly I could get a mile in.


Each day, I would push myself to get faster. And I did. But something happened. My goal was to run continuously for 10-15 minutes. But as I got faster and faster, I felt like my lungs were about to burst at the end of a mile because of all the ice crystal that formed inside them – well I assume the feeling must be due to ice crystals. What else would cause you to sweat profusely in 85-degree weather, gasping for breath, and then suddenly feel like someone just poured ice cubes on your sternum?


Either way, I’d gotten so caught up in getting faster that I lost sight of my goal. Once I was breathing that hard, I could barely run the entire 10 minutes, and 15 was out of the question. Basically, I had run myself ragged.


I sometimes see this happen to new investors. They get so caught up in doing deals as fast as they can that they run themselves ragged, get exhausted and loose sight of their goal of financial freedom. You must resist that trap and find a pace that is aggressive but manageable in order to be successful.


Seasoned investors can sometimes fall into the same trap. I’m reminded of a time two years ago when we had 10 projects going at the same time. I was having a hard time sleeping, I was overworked, and it was coming out sideways at home.


Ashley said, “I’m going to insist you take a day off.”


I looked at her puzzled, with a furrowed brow, and gruffly said, “Honey we have 10 projects going right now. What in the world makes you think I need to take a day off?”


She responded, “Because you’re overworked and being a jerk!”


She was right. I took a day off, regrouped, and found a pace that was aggressive but manageable. The projects got better, but more importantly, so did my family life.


I took Houston’s advice with my running and tried something new. I slowed my running pace to something aggressive, but manageable. The first night I applied this, I ran for 20 minutes, going more than two miles, without stopping. And I ran those two miles at a pace only one minute slower than when I was going as fast as I could.


When you find a pace that’s aggressive but manageable, you’ll get more done, you’ll reach your goals faster, and you won’t run the risk of running yourself ragged.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.

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